Fully one-sixth of the population in the UK are non-white. There was just a sprinkling of these people in the massive crowds that lined the streets and stood to wait for the family on the Balcony that ended the celebrations. This was a surge of white Brits demonstrating pride not only in their Queen but in their culture and traditions. But beneath it all are these stark statistics:
The non-white British population of England and Wales has grown from 6.6 million in 2001 to 9.1 million in 2009 – nearly one in six of the population.
Figures giving a detailed ethnic breakdown for each of the 423 local authorities were published on Wednesday in an “experimental” data release from the Office for National Statistics. They also show there are now almost a million mixed-race people in the two countries.
The white British population has stayed the same since 2001; there has been an increase in births, but there has also been a similar number of people migrating.
The non-white British population has grown by 4.1% a year, adding up to 37.4% growth – 2.5 million – over the whole period. The only group to shrink is the white Irish population – down from 646,600 in 2001 to 574,200, due to falling birthrates and migration.
A rise in the “other white” population from 1.4 million to 1.9 million is not simply due to eastern Europeans arriving, said the ONS statistician responsible for the report, but also because of the arrival of people from Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand.
The mixed-race population is up nearly 50% to almost a million for the first time – up from 672,000 in 2001 to 986,600 in 2009. A third are mixed African-Caribbean and white, followed by Asian/white. The ONS said this was not a result of increasing birthrates but because “the population is mixing up more”. Haringey, north London, has the highest proportion, at 4.4%.
When radical Islamists scream in front of Buckingham Palace “this will be a mosque one day” or announce that there will be a muslim Prime Minister by 2025, they may not be far from wrong. The one thing we can hope is that the culture and traditions of a people through over 1,000 years will be respected and preserved. If it were up to the radical Muslims, your hopes will be dashed. But if the next generation of royals spends less time out partying nights and more time in service to the people like their grandmother, then there would be every hope that this would be the case. To establish a new era of good will with mutual respect – that will be the challenge.